Text: Aivar Hanson
Photo: Lauri Laan
Basement restaurants in the Old Town of Tallinn generally have a certain established image. The entrance of Tapas Bar&Restaurant on Pikk Street is cramped and raises no positive expectations.
Prejudice is a negative thing. It clings on stubbornly and refuses to disappear at first, although this basement is in a very good condition. The servers are swift to notice newcomers squeezing themselves in and ready to help at finding a suitable table.
Even people who know Spain well and love the country have nothing to complain about here. There are many basement restaurants in Barcelona. If you were to forget that you are actually in Tallinn, it would be easy to believe that you have ended up somewhere in Barcelona.
The bottle waiting on the table deserves quick opening. In fact, prejudice had already deflated by that time, even without opening the bottle.
This is a special beer produced according to the Champagne method. The author of this beverage is Ferran Adria, the chef of the Spanish restaurant El Bull which has for years been declared the best in the world. The beverage has been created to prove that beer can have the dignity of wine, even that of sparkling wine.
People who have put a bottle of this beverage on the table simply have to be proficient in the nuances of selecting, preparing and combining of food. Let it be said at once – they are!
All of the furniture of the restaurant has been shipped from Spain. The owner of the restaurant, the Meriton hotel chain, wanted to create the most authentic possible Spanish restaurant in Tallinn.
The Spanish Embassy in Tallinn assisted them a great deal – in the restaurant room, he Ambassador even has his own table named after him .
It is said that the restaurant has quickly won recognition among famous people and that there will be more special tables soon.
The chef of the hotel chain has also visited Barcelona in order to complement his knowledge and skills. Cooking, as we know, is highly creative in Barcelona. People dare and want to prepare special, original dishes.
Creativity is infectious. This is why the menu of Tapas Bar&Restaurant contains a fair number of dishes never seen before. For instance, this filled flounder.
The wine list represents many small wineries whose wines are not easy to find anywhere else. And the prices are not as grand as can be feared at a subsidiary restaurant of a grand hotel with a grand location.